Virgin Media - Traffic Management

Discussion in 'Virgin Media Broadband' started by Gary D, May 4, 2007.

  1. Gary D

    Gary D
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    If you have 10meg BB from Virgin then this is for you.

    In a nutshell. If you are one of the top 5% of downloaders then you will have your speed "Throttled" between 4pm and midnight.

    http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

    Traffic management

    We don't like traffic jams

    Here at Virgin Media, we want all our customers to get the best service possible from their broadband. That means speedy downloads for all users – not just a few.

    When someone is downloading a particularly large amount of information over a long period of time, it can slow down the internet speed for other users who might just be checking their email or browsing online. So to make sure our service is fair for everybody, we sometimes moderate the speeds during peak times (4pm till midnight) for customers who are downloading an unusually large amount at these times.

    This ensures that the service doesn't get blocked up with people using more than their fair share – which means a lot fewer traffic jams on the information superhighway.
    Will my download speed be affected?

    Your speed won't be moderated unless you're in the top 5% of downloaders. Our boffins recently ran a trial to see how much our service was being affected. They discovered that, in certain areas, just 5% of customers were downloading such a large amount of content that it was affecting the service for other users in these areas.

    And we're not talking about just a few video clips. In some cases the top 5% of users were downloading as much as 3GB, just during peak times. That's around 750 music tracks in the space of a few hours.

    So, unless you're downloading an unusually large amount of information at peak times, we won't restrict your service and you can download to your heart's content.
    Aren't you simply trying to cut costs?

    We've never believed in cutting costs for the sake of it. And we never will. We want to deliver the best possible value to all our customers – and that's exactly what we're doing. That's why we're starting to double the speed of our top broadband package up to a supersonic 20Mb.
    When will this new policy be launched?

    We'll start moderating the heaviest users' service at the same time we roll out the new speed increases for Broadband XL customers.
    More information about speed increases and when they're happening.
    What traffic management policies are you applying to the heaviest users?

    That depends on the broadband package you're signed up to. And it's important to remember that these traffic management policies only apply during peak times (4pm till midnight) – as this is when the download speeds are likely to be affected by people using more than their fair share.
    The Technical stuff

    Here are some details about the different thresholds for each broadband service:

    Broadband Size: M
    During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: M package download at least 350MB of traffic each.

    Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 1Mb, with their upload speed set to 128Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.

    Even if a Broadband Size: M user has their speed temporarily traffic managed, they can still download over 1,000 music files per day.

    Broadband Size: L
    During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: L package download at least 750MB of traffic each.

    Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 2Mb, with their upload speed set to 192Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.

    Even if a Broadband: Size L user has their speed temporarily traffic managed, they can still download over 1,500 music files per day.

    Broadband Size: XL
    During peak times, the top 5% on the Size: XL package download at least 3GB of traffic each.

    Any users hitting this amount during peak times (4pm till midnight) will have their broadband speed temporarily traffic managed – their download speed will be set to 5Mb, with their upload speed set to 256Kb. This will last for 4 hours from when the traffic management policy is applied.


    Even if a Broadband Size: XL user has their speed temporarily traffic managed, they can still download over 4,000 music files per day.
    How do we know this will work?

    Well, as we said, we've carried out a trial in which we looked closely at when the heaviest users were downloading the most information, and how that affected the service for everybody else.

    We found that this small minority of customers were actually downloading or uploading enough information to significantly affect the service for other customers' broadband service. To put it another way, just 5% of customers were affecting the service for the other 95% during peak times (that's between 4pm and midnight).

    What's more, we noticed that when we restricted the speed of the service for this 5 % of users, we had a positive response from customers (there were less calls into our technical support teams regarding problems with broadband performance). We also noticed that the broadband speed was faster for the vast majority of users.
    Will the thresholds change?

    The way that our customers use their broadband is changing all the time, so it's possible that in the future we may increase or decrease the thresholds – don't worry though, we'll always let you know on our website if we're going to make any changes, and we don't expect the thresholds to change very often.
    How can I tell if I'm nearing the threshold?

    There are several tools that you can use to check how much you're downloading or uploading. One particularly useful tool you can download is called DU Meter*.



    Gary
     
  2. Rygar

    Rygar
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    I suppose it is the nature of affordable broadband these days. At least they are defining their limits pretty clearly, and to be honest throttled to 5Mb during busy times is still pretty good IMO. If I was Virgin Media customer I don't think I would be complaining about this too much.

    Will be interesting to see if they stick to these limits over the coming months after they have introduced 20Mb.
     
  3. abraxus

    abraxus
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    To some, being throttled to 5Mb may not seem so bad, but if you're paying for 20Mb you may have a less easy going view of it.
     
  4. Steve170

    Steve170
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    Thought I'd just vent my frustration at Virgin's 'Traffic Management'. I had Telewest's Blueyonder top package for years. Started off at 1mb per second and gradually made it's way up to 10mb. Throughout that time, the price actually came down several times.

    Now within a few months of Virgin taking over, the price has gone up and they're throttling the speed. I was recently upgraded to 20mb. The max speeds I've seen is about 15mb, but that's still very nice. Surely the benefit of having such fast download speeds is only really appreciated when you're downloading very large files! If you're just trawling the web or downloading piddly little files, it wouldn't make a huge difference whether you have 1mb or 10mb.

    I just finished downloading a very large torrent of about 3gig, then in a moment of sausage-fingered idiocy, managed to delete the file! Ok, that was stupid, but I was originally downloading at over 1 MByte per second, now I have to download it again and I'm being throttled to 500k.

    What's the point of trumpeting an upgrade that doubles peoples speed and then punishing people for doing the very thing you've just encouraged them to do, i.e. download a lot! The great thing about Telewest was that there was never any limits or throttling, now Virgin have screwed that over good.

    Well, rant over! Anyone else paying £37 for 20mb and then having their wrists slapped for using it to download large files?
     
  5. Gary D

    Gary D
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    I've stopped dopwnloading files between 4pm and midnight - just Q them up for overnight downloading.

    Its 10 megabits and not megabytes. 10 megabits means DL'ing at a around a meg a second. so a 20 megabit line would DL at almost 2.5 megabytes a second.
     
  6. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    So basically you are now only allowed to use this superfast connection for browsing the web ,whats the point of having fast broadband if your not allowed to use it .

    Lol i know people who were downloading 3gb with a 56k dial up ,yrs ago.

    The only person that needs throttling is the virgin media employees responsible for these idea's.
     
  7. wormvortex

    wormvortex
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    I know its stupid they are making the connections faster and faster but restricting them more and more. Who the hell needs a 10-20meg line to check their email and do some shopping. you could manage that quite fine on 150k. I know I did when NTL first had the option. They should just throttle the people who have a 10-20meg line and don't even use it for downloading instead of punishing people that do!
     
  8. UKCanuck

    UKCanuck
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    I have NTL 4Mb bband... allegedly. Since Virgin took over, dload speeds having been getting slower and slower.... 0.4Mb tonight!! I have sent the following email to Virgin.... not sure if it will achieve anything, but at least they know how I feel about their shocking service! :mad: Rubbish Virgin!!

    "Having been an NTL customer for nearly 5 years, with previously constant dload speed of 4Mb I am disgusted that I am paying £25 per month for what is at times 512K "broadband" or less!! TWENTY FIVE POUNDS!! This is a disgrace!! I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription and my feelings will be widely and publicly aired on AVForums.com."
     
  9. Gary D

    Gary D
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    i've been trying to get my 20 meg connection up to 20 meg tonight (theres a fault in the area, so it will have to wait to be tested. )

    Anyway, i found out that the capping affects anyone who downloads over 3 gig between 4 and midnight. So you download 3 gig by say quarter past 4 - your then capped for 4 hours - so by 8.15 pm your back to 20 meg. You download another 3 gig by half 8 and your capped for the rest of the night.

    Just thought some of you would like to know that.


    Gary
     

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